- 1 large artichoke
- 1 lemon, halved
- Sprigs of fresh parsley, tarragon or thyme
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 prepared crab cake
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
Fit a stainless steel pot with a steamer basket. Slice remaining lemon half and use it to line the steamer. Arrange herb sprigs and garlic over the lemon. Put the artichoke, stem-end, up in the center of the steamer. Add enough water to come up to the bottom of the steamer.
Squeeze reserved lemon half over all, then cover and steam over medium-high heat, adding more water as necessary, until the outer leaves can be easily removed from the artichoke and the base can be easily pierced with a knife, about 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer artichoke to a plate and set aside to let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. When the artichoke is cool enough to handle, turn it right side up and gently pull open the leaves from the center. Pull out the thin leaves from the very center and then scrape out the fibrous choke using a small spoon.
Place the crab cake in a small bowl and break apart with a spoon. Spoon some of the crab cake into the center, then spoon a bit more here and there between the leaves. Set the artichoke upright in a lightly oiled baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese, if desired. Bake, uncovered, until the filling is hot and the cheese begins to melt, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with crusty bread and olive oil or melted butter.
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